Giving Compass' Take:

• Kayla Matthews describes seven systems that recognize volunteers for all of their hard work and range from sending personal thank you emails to throwing pizza parties. 

• How can companies utilize these strategic rewards for volunteer recruitment in CSR initiatives?

• Read about how to find high-quality volunteers. 

Making change happen requires a large network of people working together to get the job done. It takes a big team to accomplish your organization’s goals, and while your employees contribute valuable mission-driven work every day, so do your volunteers.

While most volunteers devote their time to nonprofits because they’re passionate about a cause or interested in the organization’s work, their dedication and motivation may wane if they don’t feel appreciated.  Here are a few volunteer recognition strategies for you to try out:

  1.  Send Personal Thank-You Emails. Sending personalized emails to volunteers is an excellent, low-cost way to let them know you appreciate what they do. Reach out to their supervisor so you can include specifics on how they rock their job – when it comes to recognition, little details go a long way.
  2. Create A Volunteer Yearbook. Collect pictures from various projects, annual events and holiday parties, and put them together in a volunteer yearbook to celebrate your volunteers’ work and highlight special memories.
  3. Implement A Kudos System. Everyone knows that if someone “gives you kudos,” they’re essentially saying that you’ve done an excellent job. Work this into the way you interact with volunteers by developing a kudos reward system.
  4. Throw A Pizza Party! 
  5. Host An Awards Banquet. Awards could include “Most Enthusiastic,” “Most Inspirational” and other themes along those lines. Give away group awards, too, to encourage team bonding and recognize those who work well together.
  6. Provide Business Discounts. Did you know nonprofits can provide discounts to employees and volunteers? Depending on the types of services or goods you provide, this could be an excellent way to give back to your volunteers.
  7. Draw For Better Parking: Every week, supervisors could nominate a volunteer to get a reserved parking spot right by the front door.

Read the full article about reward systems for volunteers by Kayla Matthews at VolunteerMatch.